Carrie and Lynn in the City

When thinking of HBO’s ever popular show, Sex and the City, you cannot help but think about how the city clearly shaped the show for these women. The four main characters of the show, Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte, were all driven women living in the city. It is interesting to consider how much the show would have changed say the setting were, Auburn, Alabama. The city, as in many things, is what drives the women in both Sex in the City and Skyscraper and allows them to have elaborate and eccentric lives all in the same city.

While reading Faith Baldwin’s Skyscraper, I was drawn (due to the back of the book) to consider “Skyscraper to be the Sex and the City of it’s time”. While I could make comparison’s in more than just Carrie and Lynn, those are the two character’s I will discuss throughout this post . In HBO’s bio of Carrie Bradshaw, it has a quote of hers that says, “The only thing I’ve ever successfully made in the kitchen is a mess. And several small fires” (HBO.com). It is interesting because although this quote says nothing about sex or the city, it shows how for Carrie, the kitchen was not her place. Like Lynn, Carrie thrived on being a successful businesswoman on her own and when it came to being a wife and a mother she had slim to none interest.  She makes a living talking about love, sex, and everything in between. Her income depends on her ability to make the city seem like the most appealing place to fall in love, and she is quite good at it. Lynn did not want to leave the work force, not even for a man. What in today’s world one would call her wise, she could have been completely ridiculed for this fact in the time she was growing up in. Similar to Aidan after Carrie in the TV series, Lynn had a man that was willing to marry her, but even the temptation of living happy with someone she loved could not give her the push she needed to quit her job.

As mentioned earlier, if the settings of Sex and the City and Skyscraper were Auburn, Alabama, the story lines would be drastically different, especially for Lynn growing up in the era that she did. It was hard enough in her time at her age to be accepted in the work force. It was one thing for Lynn to be working out in in the public eye in a larger city, but if she had been trapped in a small town, she would probably have had plenty more judging  eyes on her for choosing work over marriage. The city is a place that allows for more things to be accepted. It allows for Carrie Bradshaw to be a wildly successful author of a racy sex column and for Lynn the city allows her to step out of the norm and be a working woman in the city willing to give up marriage, or at least postpone it, to continue with her career.

Sources:

Skyscraper, Faith Baldwin

HBO.com

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4 Comments

Filed under City Cultures

4 responses to “Carrie and Lynn in the City

  1. I think the kitchen comment really makes me see the connection between Lynn and Carrie. Neither of them feel comfortable in the domestic sphere. It’s interesting how much more is allowable for women in the city by the 1990s — especially in sexual terms. I wonder what you think about the age difference too. Lynn is celebrated for her youth, and Carrie and her friends are definitely not yound.

  2. aualum12

    Like Dr. Stalter, the kitchen comment certainly helps me to draw the connection between Carrie and Lynn. Neither of them profess to be good cooks, but more importantly it is conveyed by both women that they really have no desire to cook. The domestic life for a woman couldn’t appeal to them any less.

    I also find it very interesting that you present the idea that women in the city are more likely to have careers than women in small towns, even saying that women were “trapped” in small towns. Why would that be? During this time period, are women in small, particularly Southern towns raised differently with different beliefs and morals? Why do small town women not have the same career goals as women in big cities? Is is simply because women in big cities have more opportunities, or is it something more? This is very interesting to think about, and it’s also an interesting idea for a final paper.

  3. nam88

    I can definitely see the parallels between Lynn and Carrie. In response to aualum12’s questions about women in small Southern towns not having the same career goals. I feel that the societal norms are completely different for small town Southern women versus those that live in larger cities. For instance I’m 24 and all of my friends I grew up with are already married, some with children, others are pregnant and the majority of them still live where we grew up. To be 24, single, not wanting to start a family any time soon and putting my career first is completely out of the norm. People act like I’m a freak of nature. I also feel like that in smaller towns that there are rarely as many opportunities that a larger city presents. In the end it comes down to what you want out of life for yourself no matter what your beliefs, morals and the way you were raised.

  4. bkl0002

    I think what aualum12 says about there being a difference for “small town” women is interesting because I’ve honestly never really divided those kind of expectations by Small Town vs. Big City; I’ve always looked at it more as a Southern vs. Northern thing. I can’t say I know too much about northern culture, as I’ve only briefly visited, but I’ve always sort of gotten the impression that delaying family life in lieu of pursuing a career was just something that was more common in the north, whereas it is nearly unheard of in much of the south – even in some of the bigger cities. Birmingham itself, for example, is laden with plenty of mid/upper twenty-somethings with no desire to marry anytime soon, but the “southern” ideal of marrying and starting a family at a fairly young age still prevails. With the exception of a few communities, most of the inner cities, as well as its (generally wealthy) suburbs are mostly comprised of people who marry young and return to said suburb. Thus, it has seemed to me that city vs. town has less to do with it than region does.

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